Schwartz Headshot

Michelle Schwartz directs all of AFJ’s programs related to justice, including its highly-regarded judicial selection project, its Supreme Court analysis, and its access to justice work.

Before joining AFJ, Michelle served for six years as a senior staff member for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg from her home state of New Jersey.  She was Senator Lautenberg’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director, advising him on all policy and legal issues, implementing legislative strategy, and overseeing the Senator’s Washington, D.C. staff.  She began her time with Senator Lautenberg as counsel working on judiciary, telecommunications, and labor issues, and throughout her tenure in the office maintained a focus on judicial nominations, gun violence prevention, and media access.

Michelle previously practiced law as a litigation associate at Williams & Connolly LLP.  She also was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in the Central District of California.  Prior to attending law school, Michelle served as Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Michelle received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Duke University, with a degree in Public Policy Studies and a French minor.  She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served on the Yale Law Journal, was Notes Editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review, and represented prisoners through the Prison Legal Services clinic.

The media frequently call upon Michelle for her expertise on judicial nominations, the Supreme Court, and Senate procedure, and she has appeared in media outlets such as Huffington Post, Politico, Pacifica Radio, American Prospect, and The Hill.